Argument Against Legal M
Opponents of legalization routinely regurgitate an endless array of flawed logic, mindless speculation, and apocalyptic prophecy anytime they’re confronted with the case for marijuana reform. But regardless of whatever head-spinning mouthful they deliver, it invariably rests upon the same grand assumption: that legal marijuana means many more people smoking much more pot.
Fortunately, we’ve made enough progress already to take that theory for a test-drive, and the results are delightfully underwhelming:
Marijuana use is not on the rise.
At least, that’s the gist of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health done every year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In 2008 — the most recent data available — 6.1 percent of Americans 12 and older admitted using marijuana in the previous month.
And yet, during those same years, marijuana has been edging toward legitimacy. States with medical marijuana laws have made it possible for thousands of people to buy pot over the counter, in actual stores. Some police departments have started de-emphasizing marijuana arrests. [NPR]
Imagine that. After decades of debate, the first stages of reform have taken hold and all the trains are still arriving on time. More than a decade after the first legal marijuana sales began taking place on American soil, the consequences we were told to expect can be found nowhere other than the imagination of our dwindling opposition.
If rates of marijuana use aren’t rocked by reform, then everything bad that’s ever been said about marijuana is perfectly irrelevant to the legalization debate. The morons who think we’re trying to “add a new drug into the mix” are shown to be badly confused, and we can move fearlessly towards dismantling the vast spectrum of nightmarish prohibition problems that we’ve brought on ourselves for no reason whatsoever.
If our opponents have any integrity, if they truly want safer communities and just laws, then they’ll someday be very pleased to learn that we’ve been right all along.